For those of you who know what Ikea is, you understand the joy of driving ONLY 1 1/2 hours to get to one. I have a friend who has never been to one and has no idea how wonderful the experience. Ikea is a furniture and home goods store that is predicated on interesting and appealing design, superb functionality, and very affordable pricing. Many of their items can be customized and they offer design centers where you can put together kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, whatever. The key, again, is design (style), intuitive, useful functionality, and low pricing.
Ikea originates in Sweden and so you can also buy various Scandinavian items (including interesting food items!). There's also a restaurant in all Ikea's that serves traditional Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce. Super cheap, too. More on that in Part 2 of this post.
You're interested. I know you are.
Here's the iconic yellow and blue storefront:
My husband and I love this console for our living room. It's called the "Hemnes" series and is super-customizable so it can be shorter or longer to fit your wall. This entire piece, as shown, was just over $1000! The deal with Ikea stuff, though, is that you have to put it together yourself. That's how they keep prices down. If you're handy, that's a great thing, if not, you do what my husband and I do: call a handyman.
Frames for sale! Pottery Barn look, Wal Mart prices.
This is one of the many kitchen designs they'd already spec'd out in the store. You can customize everything. They have several different designs in the store so you can get ideas. Everything from french traditional to super chromed-out modern. I loved this kitchen.
You want different legs on that? Sure! You can have them!
The Ikea in Cincinnati is located in West Chester, right outside of Cincinnati.
In Part 2 of this post, I'll be telling you about the amazing (and cheap!) food we had in Ikea restaurant. Part 3 of this series on our trip to Cincinnati will feature the best grocery store in the Midwest: Jungle Jim's!